Friday, November 16, 2018

Mid November hunt

Wow! What a month we are having. Moisture or the lack of has changed the places and how we hunt this time of the year. The birds are scattered since the weather has offered suitable living conditions all the way to 6000 feet. Usually by now some of the slopes are frozen or snow covered forcing the birds to the warmer slopes but not this year.

 The good news is that after putting your boots on you can walk all day without having to worry about hitting those slopes that won't be holding birds. The bad news is that you still have to pack a lot of water for the dogs.

I spent 8 of the last 10 days chasing chukars and I have to admit to being whipped for a few days. Both my dogs are feeling the pain also. They covered a little over 70 miles each in the last three days alone and are enjoying some couch time as I type.

There were a lot of steep hills to be hunted but that didn't sway the old man on the mountain. I'm not talking about me but the old man from Grizzly country. The last three days I hunted with Greg Munther from Montana and it seemed like where ever I went I could see him and Oakley traversing steep slopes in pursuit of birds.
You probably remember him from past posts, he's 75 years young. He definitely isn't old yet.
For those who are counting, there are still lot's of huntable birds and like I mentioned the conditions favor lot's of available slopes to cover. But the same conditions are favoring the chukar and getting birds to hold is tough right now. Jake and Grady have become quite a team and have been doing there best to hold the birds.
Sometimes I make the long trek to their points and the birds oblige while sometimes the walk just presents a fleeting glance of flushing birds. This time of the year wild birds is to be expected and if you stay on the mountain long enough there will be enough cooperative birds to keep you happy. 
We are putting plenty of birds in the bag which is what we are out there for but we are also having some wonderful times on the hill and I'm seeing some great dog work. Once in a while something comes along and reminds you of the beauty of wildlife. It may be a big bull elk walking the hill or a bear sunning himself outside hit's den. On this trip it was the perfect specimen of a chukar. I wish I had taken a picture of this stud right after Jake brought him to me. His markings were absolutely flawless.
I wonder if this could have been one of those rare 3 year old birds.
Finally, I'd like to say how great chukar hunters are. A couple from Mackay, Idaho  shared the campground with Greg and I along with there 3 brit's . I believe his name was Orin and they were a to pleasure trading secrets with. If anybody from that side of the state knows their names I'd appreciate you passing it on to me and complimenting them for being great outdoorsmen. (Larry Semmen just let me know their names were Terry and Orland Gaddis and has also enjoyed his visits with them.) Chukar hunters are great at swapping stories.

Seasons half gone now, so get out there and have some fun. 

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